Monday, December 1, 2008

Axe falling at the PD on Tuesday ... via Ma Bell

Reporters, editors and other newsroom staffers at the Plain Dealer will be glued to their phones tomorrow (Tuesday) morning .. and it's not for a call of breaking news.

The PD has given staffers these instructions:

  • Stay home Tuesday until you receive a phone call.
  • If you still have a job, you will be called and told to come in.

  • If you are being laid off, you will be called and told when to clean out your desk via a supervised entrance with security.

Think you could sleep tonight?

Don't think the union rules are going to help either .. as the contract -- as it was explained to me -- allows management to pick and choose who to keep.

While the PD has already gone through several rounds of cuts, this is the most drastic, at least when it comes to a method to the madness. A few dozen staffers have already agreed to a buyout, but it's not enough. A few dozen more still need to go.

As I watch the DOW drop 600+ points and erase last week's gains, I just wonder when it all will end.
Still .. to dump someone by phone when they've given you their hearts and souls for years is pretty tough to accept.


Jason said...

Announcement by phone is especially lame, though I don't know that coming in only to be asked to leave is much better. The situation for these employees stinks regardless of dismissal method.

Anonymous said...

It's tough all over (Ohio), and we all give our hearts and souls to what we do. Many mainstream media types have lapped at the trough of plenty for a long time. Now its their turn to look at a meager bowl of gruel instead of a fact, juicy steak and be thankful they have at least have that.

Anyway, print media may become obsolete sooner than some predict, like 2014.

Anonymous said...

While we are talking about the PD. How come there is no comment about Mayor Pluquellic being named in a story about the FBI investigation of politicians and that workers comp company? The story made it sound as if Mayor Don accepted campaign contributions from this company and in turn hired them for a city contract? Where is the story in the Beacon Journal or on WKYC? Will you talk about this on News Night Akron?

Ben said...

That is pretty poor - that is the best way to tell them?

Thats awful.

Longtime Reader said...

Boy. Some people really got it for media types, eh?

Not sure what steak they are eating up there at the DP but I bet most people, maybe even anonymous, would be surprised how little these jobs pay.

I know that working at the paper or the local tv station seems glamourous . . . but the pay can be a lot like eating gruel. That's way so many of them work extra jobs, yes?

Or is that just more steak?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post. I don't understand the animosity toward media types. Does anyone really believe Cleveland, Akron or any city is better off without a strong newspaper or TV newsroom?

SallyB said...

Without a local news source, you're not getting the complete story. The ABJ is a poorer place without the likes of David Giffels and Chip Bok, and now it looks like a lot of PD'er's are going to be asked to go as well. Newspapers are a shell of what they used to be when I was growing up, and yet, there is nothing like them to replace the ability to sit down with a cup of coffee in the morning on the sofa and read what's contained between the covers.

It's sad that print media will probably, before long, go the way of the dodo and become extinct. Without local news sources, most areas won't be served by being able to tell our stories, hear our points of view in letters to the editor and so forth. Akron and Cleveland, if their local news sources dry up and disappear, will be ill served by the national media because they are small markets, not big mega-markets like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

And what a thing to lay on people just before Christmas. Truly sounds like the PD management has become a bunch of Grinches who stole Christmas for those people who are soon to get pink slipped. And just where are these folk supposed to find new jobs in an economy like this in a state whose budget lies in tatters? How very cruel at such a festive time of year as this to lay that on people. Bah, HUMBUG!

Anonymous said...

Remember that the PD, like the ABJ, is still turning double-digit profits, even with the layoffs.

Anonymous said...

Not sure anonymous how you could know that the ABJ is posting double digit profits. They are a private company now. Are you an insider at the ABJ? I'm going to bet those double digits are no longer there.